Stop The Talk; Internet Still Slow

Javon Liburd, Staff Reporter | 17 Opinions
Published: May 17, 2017 3:20 pm AST
Hon Mark Vanterpool speaking with Digicel BVI General Manager, Kevin R. Gordon
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Hon. Mark Vanterpool took a heavy approach in observing World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, today, May 17, as he reiterated concerns of improving the internet service in the Territory.

Speaking at a ceremony hosted by the BVI Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC), earlier today, the Communications Minister told representatives from each telecommunication company in the Territory, that their broadband and LTE services across the Territory is still not where it should be.

In a comparative analysis of the internet download speed in the BVI, compared to other download speeds around the region, he stated the Territory is at the bottom of that list, with an average of 48 megabytes per second (mps), while other countries in the region boast of having up to 300 mps to 1 gigabyte.

The Minister also went on to challenge his findings, noting that on an average, persons in the BVI see up to 10 mps rather than 48 mps.

“I am patient. We do understand that there are difficulties and challenges, and I encourage you to keep working hard. I encourage you to keep working on it, but it’s still slow. It is certainly not 48 mps, and certainly nowhere near that from what I've seen. It’s somewhere close to 5 or 4,” Hon. Vanterpool said to representatives from Digicel, CCT, Flow and The Cable.

“I want us to stop the talk we are having and let’s have a symposium with the users, not with a view to try to expose you, but to get feedback from the customers, a discussion, and see how we can get to where we are going to. It’s not about bashing you, we just want to get it done and move on, and be able to enjoy the modern speeds that are out there with broadband and LTE.”

Acknowledging the theme of the day, “LTE: Taking Broadband in the BVI to Another Level”, Minister Vanterpool said he is hopeful that level is upwards to advancement.

“I’m not sure what level we are talking about. I don’t know if the level is up or down or across, but hopefully it is up. We want to encourage them to do a good job and that we want them to get better.”

The ceremony also saw TRC awarding the junior and senior winners of their 2017 video competition, launched in April. Each video submitted was intended to educate persons of the importance of LTE in the BVI.

In the junior category, which saw entries from persons between the ages of 12-18, the video submitted by Anthony Cheltenham Jr. was awarded first place.

Left to Right
Juniors, Keaun Adolphus, Jordan Lewis and Anthony Cheltenham Jr. Seniors, Hakeem Gravesande and Earl Hazel Jr.
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Videos submitted by Jordan Lewis and Keaun Adolphus were awarded second and third place respectively.

The senior category, which saw submissions from persons 19 and over, was won by Earl Hazel, while Hakeem Gravesande took second place.

In congratulatory remarks, Hon. Vanterpool encouraged the winners to continue advancing themselves in the field.

“It’s very heartening to see you our young people embracing technology and taking advantage of the internet to advance your knowledge, and the rest of us in positive ways. We consider you to be our future educators, doctors, technicians, lawyers, architects, engineers; whatever you want to be, and especially legislators.”

He added, “We [local government] have a mandate that sees the Territory enjoying the highest standard of technology and especially internationally acceptable telecommunications. We are working towards that and we want to commend you.”

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